RMS Statement on Coronavirus - updated 2 December 2020

What a year this has been. We were hopeful that by this time, the necessity for another statement would be behind us but unfortunately it seems we may still have a way to go.

So, briefly, this is where we are as a Society and our continuing plans to ensure the health and safety of our members, delegates, speakers, exhibitors and members of staff.

As we find ourselves in the midst of a second wave we have again assessed the benefits and risks of RMS Staff returning to the office. The majority of staff will continue to work from home as a rule, and, should the necessity arise, a very small number of staff will be permitted to work in the office under strict social distancing guidance on a voluntary basis. It is not anticipated this will be a regular occurrence.  Hopefully no-one outside the RMS office will have experienced any difference or delay with the interactions with the office team.

All Society committee meetings will continue to be held virtually until further notice. You may have attended our recent RMS Virtual Annual General Meeting held in November. This was the first ever virtual RMS AGM and we were delighted that so many, members and non-members, from all around the world, joined us for the meetings and also the wonderful talks given by our Mid-Career Award recipients. The meeting was a great success and we were proud to be able to continue the Society’s activities even under these challenging circumstances. We are hopeful that the 2021 AGM will be able to be an in-person event.

We have continued to add to our calendar of virtual events and since our last update have held a number of conferences. We wrapped up the series of meetings that started back in May on lab safety in the COVID era. These were hugely successful, due to the interaction and consideration given by all who attended to share their experiences. We ran two long standing meetings in virtual formats for the first time, and organised the Early Career emc2020 meeting on behalf of the European Microscopy Society and Scandem. This meeting gave those early career researchers who had intended to attend emc2020 in Copenhagen an opportunity to still present their work. Over 600 people registered for this event and we would like to thank everyone for their participation and support. The intention is for all RMS events to be run virtually until at least the Spring of 2021 and we will monitor the situation for events due to take place later in the year. If there are any events you would like information on, please email [email protected] or visit our event calendar.

We have been fortunate to continue to run events and provide opportunities to bring the microscopy community together. With this in mind, and with the experience we have gained in the last year, we are pleased to be able to offer virtual meeting support to the community. More information on this can be found here.

Finally, we can end on a positive note. News of the vaccines becoming available has brought a light to the end of the tunnel and we look forward to the day when we can again run an in-person event and engage face-to-face again with our members and colleagues. As always, the Society will continue to monitor and act on advice from the UK Government regarding precautions and safety on COVID-19 and provide updates as and when the situation changes.

If you have any questions at all , please contact [email protected].

With my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas, and a happy, safe and healthy New Year.

Allison Winton

RMS Chief Executive

For further information and Government advice, please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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